Toxic Game

Toxic GameToxic Game by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalker #15
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on March 12, 2019
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 412
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three-half-stars

On a rescue mission in the heart of the Indonesian jungle, Dr. Draden Freeman and his GhostWalker team need to extract the wounded as quickly as possible—or risk spreading a deadly virus unleashed by a terrorist cell. When Draden gets infected, he forces his team to leave him behind. He won’t risk exposing anyone else. He intends to find the ones responsible and go out in a blaze of glory….

Shylah Cosmos’s mission is to track the virus and remain unseen. Her enhanced senses tell her that the gorgeous man eradicating the terrorists one by one is a GhostWalker—and his lethal precision takes her breath away. When he’s hit by a lucky shot, she can’t stop herself from stepping in, not knowing that by saving his life she’s exposed herself to the virus.

There’s no telling how much time Draden and Shylah have left. Racing to find a cure, they quickly realize that they’ve found their perfect partner just in time to lose everything. But even as the virus threatens to consume their bodies, they’ve never felt more alive.

It took longer than it normally would to finish, one of Christine Feehan’s title. Nonetheless, finished I did. Toxic Game wasn’t up to par with her other titles in this series, yet I still enjoyed the drama. GhostWalker, Draden Freeman, was on a rescue mission when he is infected with a deadly virus. He only had one choice, to force his fellow teammates, his brothers to leave him behind.  But before he dies, he will make sure the ones who killed him will die hard and fast.

Shylah, a GhostWalker herself knew what it takes to make evil pay. But not like the person that she sees stalking the terrorist responsible for wiping out an entire village. One by one the terrorist was followed never seeing or hearing their assailant. While following him, she saves him. But unbeknownst to Shylah, she linked her life to the mysterious GhostWalker.

I loved the GhostWalker series, but even I as an advent fan of Christine Feehan found that this book was slow in places and didn’t maintain the suspense that I came to enjoy. Most of this book takes place in the jungle of Indonesia, which may have caused me to lose focus. Even though Spider Game takes place in one location (the swamps) it had more action and suspense that was lacking in Toxic Game.  The attraction that Draden experience when he first saw Shylah just wasn’t to be believed, even knowing that Dr. Whitney may have paired them together. If you read any previous title in this series, then their attraction doesn’t even compare to Wyatt and Pepper nor Trap and Cayenne.

I will continue reading this series. Even now I can’t what to see whose book is next. Even a top author can have a blunder now and again…I hate to say or see that  Toxic Game was one of those books.

Nonexclusive Excerpt 1 (ch 1)

 The last of the helicopters had lifted from the ground, gunners providing cover for him, spraying the tree line to keep the terrorists from taking aim at Draden. Diego and Malichai used automatics to aid the gunners as Joe and Gino worked on the wounded. A rope was dropped down as the chopper circled back. Draden kept running as gunfire erupted from the cover of the forest. Bullets spat around him.

The chopper came slipping out of the sky toward him, coming in low, the rope flying like a slinky tail. Behind him, the forest went strangely silent. No gunfire. He didn’t stop. He leapt for the rope, his gloved hands catching hold, the jerk so strong it nearly pulled his arms out of their sockets. Still, his enhanced strength allowed him to hang on while the chopper began to climb.

He was twenty feet up when he felt the sting in his thigh, and his heart stuttered with instant awareness. He glanced down to see a dart protruding from his muscle and knew why the terrorists’ weapons had gone silent. They had a sniper, and he wasn’t armed with a bullet. He was armed with a virus. If Draden went up into the helicopter, he was condemning everyone in it to the same death as those in the village. Without real conscious thought, he let go of the rope, dropping out of the sky and back to earth.

Virus injection. It was the best information he could give them, so they would know to leave him behind.

Malichai was staring down at him, their eyes meeting as he fell away. He saw Malichai practically dive from the helicopter, but Diego caught at him, holding him back. Draden landed in a crouch, his enhanced DNA allowing his legs to act like springs to absorb the shock. He somersaulted forward and stood up, facing the forest, his arms spread wide. Let them shoot him if they wanted, but if they didn’t, he was infecting the bastards. He began walking toward the edge of all those trees and brush.

Draden. What the hell happened? Joe’s voice slipped into his mind. It was faded, as if the distance was already too far. He heard the helicopter circling back so Joe would be able to reach him. He pictured Joe holding a weapon on the crew. He could get that intense.

By the time he reached the trees, the MSS members had faded away, leaving him to die however the villagers had. He’d seen the reports the Indonesian government had shared with the WHO. It was one of the reasons his team had been in the region. Two team members were two of the leading scientists developing treatments, therapies and pharmaceuticals in the field of viruses.

Infected with the virus.

Draden had taken the time to finish both his doctorate and MD, to be an asset to others on his team. He’d dabbled in biochemistry but finished his undergrad degree, a BS in genetics. Stanford offered a dual MD and PhD program and he’d taken advantage of that. He’d gotten his MD as an infectious disease doctor and his PhD in microbiology and immunology. He found it ironic that he would be dying of a weaponized virus after all that work to earn his degrees. Determined to be of some use, he decided to record everything he could about his symptoms, along with any suppositions he might have before he put a bullet in his head. He’d leave final conclusions for them.

Tell Trap and Wyatt I’ll leave behind a recording. Don’t know if they can use whatever I find, but they should remotely be able to access my recorder without touching the device.

I’m sorry, man. Trap and Wyatt may have ideas.

Draden knew, just from the earlier reports, that their ideas would be too late. The virus acted too fast. He would be dead before Joe had time to make it back to the States.

About Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan is a #1 New York Times bestselling author fifteen times over with her portfolio including over 50 published novels, including six series; Leopard Series, Dark Series, Ghostwalker Series, Drake Sisters Series, the Sisters of the Heart Series, and her new Shadow Series. Five of her series have hit the #1 spot on the New York Times bestselling list as well. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature (PEARL) in 1999. Since then she has been published by various publishing houses including Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards since Dark Prince.

In addition to the #1 New York Times bestsellers list and the PEARL awards, Christine is honored to have made the bestsellers list for Amazon, B. Daltons, Barnes and Nobles, Bookscan, Borders, Ingrams, Publishers Weekly, Rhapsody Book Club, USA Today, Waldenbooks, Walmart, and the Washington Post. Other honors that she has received include being a nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA award, receiving the Career Achievement Award for Contemporary New Reality from Romantic Times Magazine in 2003 and in 2008 the Borders Lifetime Achievement Award.

She has been published in multiple languages and in many formats, including audiobook, e-book, hardcover and large print. In October of 2007 her first manga comic, Dark Hunger was released in stores. This was the first ever manga comic released by Berkley Publishing and it made #11 on Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller’s List. Her ground-breaking book trailer commercials have been shown on TV and in the movie theaters. She has been featured on local TV, appeared on The Montel Williams Show, and her book Dark Legend was featured on the cover of Romantic Times Magazine.

Christine Feehan has also appeared at numerous writers’ conventions and book signings including Romantic Times Convention, Get Caught Reading at Sea Cruise, Celebrate Romance Conference, Emerald City Conference, and numerous Romance Writers of America Conferences. She was also a special guest at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con and has hosted her own FAN convention.

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